Did you know that every 8 out of 10 businesses suffer from supplier failure?
Yes! According to a 2017 Tungsten Network report, a whopping 84% of businesses suffer from supplier failure.
What’s worse, the companies lose about 30% in revenue or business partners out of these failures. And the numbers are getting even worse.
Lucky for you, we have got your back. To save you from these shocking stats, we have prepared this article to guide you on the baby steps to take when selecting your avocado supplier.
This guide is prepared with a retailer in mind. If you’re a business owner and would love a guide on how to choose a distributor, check out our guide on the same. But why should you listen to us?
FrutPlanet Exporters is a leading fruit and vegetable supplying company. We help business owners through the logistics of sourcing, processing, and exporting agricultural products. We have been helping businesses for over five years now and pride in some of the most successful partners.
That said, you should look out for:
Number 1: Guarantee of Quality and Consistency
Go for avocado suppliers whose priorities match your business’s quality and consistency. On the other hand, high-quality avocados will bring customer satisfaction with your customers. On the other hand, their consistency in the quality of the avocados is crucial for meeting customer expectations over the long term.
As a business owner, you need to assess their track record and reputation for delivering avocados that meet your standards. But how do you evaluate the quality and consistency of a supplier before you commit for the long term?
You need to adopt a quality management practice for your business. The more complex your avocado supply chain is, the more robust assessment practice you should set up. It should have several vital steps to ensure avocado quality is front and center.
- Set up receiving inspection process. It is crucial to have an existing inspection process on every receipt of avocados from suppliers. You should integrate the process such that you can assess feedback and supplier performance in real-time. The process will help you track, evaluate quality, and reduce defects in the products that reach your customers.
- Implement SCARs. Supplier Corrective Action Requests (SCARs) is a formal request that a company or business send to the supplier requesting them to rectify an issue related to quality. But before you implement a SCAR, your inspection process must be working and capturing topics such as late deliveries, order deviation, customer complaints, and other issues. Also, before implementing a SCAR, you must conduct the root cause, especially if you have several avocado suppliers.
- Constantly Re-evaluate Avocado Suppliers. Re-evaluation is crucial, especially if you have several avocado suppliers for your business. You need to constantly review their performance based on reviews and ratings, quantitatively and qualitatively. Every metric that is important to your business should be rated.
- Build a Relationship With Your Supplier. Taking an enterprise-wide approach is particularly important if you have a long-term commitment to your avocado suppliers. You need to bring in such suppliers as partners in your Quality Management System (QMS) and workflow. Expand their role in quality management by linking them with your procurement team. That way, you’re guaranteed proper supplier quality.
By implementing the above remedies, you will streamline your supply chain and propel your business. Therefore, more satisfaction, repeat customers and return on investment.
Number 2: Offers Variety and Availability
The more avocado varieties a supplier can comfortably fulfill, the better. But at least you need to ensure that the supplier offers varieties that your customer demands. There are several ways to ensure you don’t go wrong on type and availability.
One way is partnering with a variety-specific supplier. The downside of such avocado suppliers is that you will have to diversify your portfolio. You will need many suppliers to consistently maintain supply for just a few avocado varieties.
On the other hand, you can opt for generalists, a supplier who can supply any avocado variety. What’s better, when a particular type is off-peak, these avocado suppliers can offer alternatives. Thereby giving your customers a range of options.
There are over 500 avocado varieties, but the most commercially accepted varieties are Hass, Fuerte, Pollock, Pinkerton, Nabal, and others. The commercial varieties list may expand depending on the location of the supplier, and therefore, have that in mind when choosing a supplier.
But, independent of the type of supplier you go for, it’s best to have a supplier offering a wide range of avocado varieties. They help your business cater to different customer preferences b increasing base options.
But again, ensure that they have a consistent supply throughout the year. Your business needs to maintain a steady inventory. Most avocado suppliers, including FrutPlanet exporters, offer all-year-round supply by sourcing from different tropical countries. That way, harnessing the peak seasons for various regions.
Number 3: Conscious of Food Safety Practices
Customers and your business should care about the safety of the fruits and vegetables they consume. Your business should source organically grown agricultural produce. But how do you know how the supplier sources the farm produce?
There are several organizations and government agencies whose certification guarantees a product adheres to strict food safety standards. Some of these certification depend on where the supplier is located. For example, if you’re sourcing through FrutPlanet exporters as your supplier, some credentials to look out for include Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).
However, we have more specific certifications that include:
- Phytosanitary certificate: A certificate for fresh produce that certifies that the plants and the products are free from pests and other regulated aspects in the country we’re exporting to. The certificate in Kenya is issued by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS).
- Laboratory Test Report: before issuance of a phytosanitary certificate, you must produce a laboratory test. This report shows the determination of maturity, oil content, and a bunch of other factors for a consignment sample that was tested. The sampling and testing are through the AFA Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD).
Other approving bodies that endorse avocados exports include the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) and Port Health Services Kenya. However, there are other non-health-related bodies that a Kenya supplier needs before they can export the avocados. These certifications make the process comprehensive and safe for Kenyan importers of avocados.
Number 4: Clean Packaging and Efficient Logistics
By now, you have established the state of the fruit of the avocado; it’s time to evaluate how the supplier handles packaging and logistics. It is important to assess the supplier’s packaging methods for the safe delivery of your order. The avocado fruit should arrive in the most optimal condition possible.
Some of the best packaging conditions for avocados are:
- Sturdy shipping box: You need the external layer of the packaging to be sturdy. This protects the avocados from external pressure during transit. The box’s construction should be cardboard, crate, or a multilayer material with a stable bottom.
- Cushioning: Shielding external pressure isn’t enough; you must also protect them from internal friction. Cushioning prevents fruits from bumping during the rigorous shipping process. Your supplier’s cushioning of choice should be informed by their packaging process.
- Sealing: How does the supplier shield the package? Do they include the necessary details for identification, addresses, etc? The package sealing should be rigid and feature relevant importer details for sorting during delivery.
These aspects are more likely to change depending on the weather, the ripeness stage, and the physical conditions during transport. For example, transport via road requires more cushioning than air transport. Similarly, ripe avocados need softer cushioning than green, firm, unripe avocados.
In addition to their packaging, it’s essential to check the company’s logistics, such as delivery timelines, order fulfillment, and minimum order for export, among other factors. One of the most important logistical factors to consider is shipping options. It’s crucial as it affects the entire timeline for the avocados and could influence your decision-making.
Number 5: Avocado Pricing, Traceability, and Transparency
It is always essential to consider different suppliers’ price points. Otherwise, you risk getting very inflated quotations. There are several ways to explore this; first, you can ask other avocado suppliers for a quote on a set of avocados. The suppliers should provide a price breakdown that you can then compare. Also, you can ask on peer-to-peer networks from business owners who have ordered from avocado suppliers in your region.
Once you compare the pricing structure, go for the option that shows a proper balance of quality and fair pricing. This is the best time to ask about payment terms and any applicable discounts.
One of the commonly ignored factors by most business owners on the lookout for avocado suppliers is transparency and traceability.
Transparency should be demonstrated in pricing and other internal operational aspects of the supplier. From how they quote pricing, quality control, and more
Your supplier should come clean on their supply chain to the grower. Traceability and transportation are becoming increasingly important factors in the food industry. Ask your supplier about their existing traceability systems. Traceability’s increasing importance is aimed at reducing vices such as forced labor, sexual harassment, and food safety. You don’t want to buy from a supplier who exploits their growers!
Knowing what to look out for in a supplier is crucial to the success of your avocado business. Mistakes made during the selection could build, and often more than not, suppliers are the leading cause of why most business fail.
Ensure that your avocado suppliers have quality and consistency, offer a variety of avocados, adhere to food safety practices, cautiously package products, and prioritize transparency in all their dealing.
If you’re looking for a supplier that adheres to all the above-discussed factors, FrutPlanet exporters are your best bet.
We are a leading exporter and supplier of fruits and vegetables, including avocados. We supply a variety including Fuerte, Pinkerton, and Hass, through our global distribution network. Request a quote for Bulk avocados today or any day!